Officer Johnson and the “Black and Whites”
Apr12

Officer Johnson and the “Black and Whites”

Officer Kyle Johnson poses with his “Black and White” and our “Black and White,” beautiful Daphne. We wanted to show the bond between the police and equestrian communities and how much we appreciate their service. Many a time my friends and I, while horseback riding, have had our run-ins with the law here in Southern California. Police vehicles are often parked along Mulholland Hwy in Calabasas, or at a stop sign on Round Meadow in Hidden Hills, or the trailhead at Chesebro in Agoura. As we ride by, we can’t help but kindly joke with the officers: “I promise officer, I won’t speed.” “Look officer, no hands.” “Oh, oh you caught me texting while I ride.” Or my personal favorite: “I like my ‘Black and White’ better than yours.” We are friendly to express our appreciation for all the help police officers provide. Often police officers have helped a group of riders cross dangerous highways only to return hours later and repeat the same action, insuring our safety on the way home. Because of police presence, motorists, motorcyclists and bicyclists tend to behave better when the officers are minding the roads. Insuring safety for everyone.  Again, we thank them for their service.  This article was written in remembrance of Sgt. Steve Owen who was killed October 5th, 2016 in pursuit of a parolee suspected of burglary.  Sgt. Owen was a 29-year veteran of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s dept. He was extremely well liked within his community, and in civilian life as well. He was known for being a great husband, father and also an excellent horseman. Sgt. Owen was also part of the Mounted Patrol Unit and a great example of how police and horses work as team operating not only as protectors, but amabssadors of goodwill in communities across the country. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell noted Sgt. Owen’s help in preparing to ride horseback in the Pasadena Parade. “I had never done that before, and he was somebody who was a real horseman … truly a gentleman, somebody who wanted to be … helpful in whatever … he did. Everybody looked to Steve as the go-to guy, and within the organization he was looked to as a role model for everybody else,” Sheriff McDonnell said in an interview with KTLA. On the day Sgt. Owen was laid to rest,  “The procession of vehicles was so long that the last vehicle departed about 30 minutes after the group at the head of the line, “ according to NBC Los Angeles. Thank you for your service and goodwill Sgt. Owen. You will not be forgotten....

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Community Service – Simba is “On the Job”
Aug30

Community Service – Simba is “On the Job”

From Mounted Patrol to the Special Olympic World  Games of 2015, Simba’s owner Candice Camacho describes him as the “gift that keeps on giving.” Simba’s Service – By Subscriber/Contributor Candice Camacho “I’m thrilled that Equine Addiction Inc. took an interest in my Simba. It means so much to me and it’s an honor to share my story about my beloved equine Simba. Simba became mine a little over seven years ago when he needed a home. He was scheduled to go to auction, but his owner brought him down from a farm where he had been living for over a year. He had been put out to pasture because a vet said he’d never be ridden again. I had known Simba and I knew he was a great horse, so his supposed “ringbone” didn’t bother me. I had a vet check and he was good to go, no evidence of ringbone. Fast forward to 2015 and Simba reinvented himself as a volunteer with the El Monte Mounted Police and LA County Whittier Narrows Mounted Assistance Unit. He has since served in Color Guards, parades, patrols, horse expos and has been carrying riders of all ages on trail rides. He is a medium sized sorrel QH approximately 29-31 yrs. old, if based upon his age at purchase, he would be 31. When the call came for volunteers for the Special Olympics, 2015 World Games, I knew without a doubt that Simba could do the job. He was assessed by the therapy riding group that was in charge of the equestrian events for the Games. Simba was selected and off to the Games we went. He was the oldest horse competing and helped his riders from Kazakhstan and Uruguay win two silver medals, two bronze medals and two ribbons. This was his first horse show and competing under the huge Equidome was not in his comfort zone, but being the brave horse he is, he competed with grace and elegance. He competed in all four equestrian events, English Equitation, Dressage, Trail Class and the Team Relay. We bonded ever so closely over the nine days spent at the Olympics. The entire event was incredible. Simply watching those athletes ride horses they had not known and with very little training on those horses, and then compete on them was inspiring, sheer bravery and trust beyond words. Simba was a gift to me that keeps on giving. As you know the entire process of selecting horses for these athletes was a challenge to say the least. Everyone wanted medium sized quarter horses, but the horses had to be safe and matched with the athletes’ riding ability, size...

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What do you get when you mix an Archeologist, an Appaloosa, and a Park?
Jul02

What do you get when you mix an Archeologist, an Appaloosa, and a Park?

(The answer is in the article so please read on.) If trash could toll, it would ring for all of us because litter literally takes a “toll” on the environment. So when you’re out in nature, do your part and more. Make sure you pick up after yourself and if possible, even after others: nature will appreciate it. On this lovely June morning Hadley and I make our way down the trail to meet up with California State Park’s archeologist, Barbara Tejada. As we travel, we pick up trash along the way. (We function as the self-imposed community service part of this article.)  I work with a grabber, gloves, and a trash bag slung over Hadley’s saddle. Tricky stuff – so you have to make sure your horse is up for it and not spooky. The key to picking up after someone else is a pair of gloves. I use latex (make sure you are not allergic), or vinyl; sometimes work gloves and of course, a grabber. Before you start on any trash pick-up expedition make sure you have an end plan. Where will you throw out the trash you pick up? Identify ahead of time, where the nearest trash receptacle is and plan to use it. Sometimes the trash left by other people is really disgusting and may be too difficult to pick up or even recycled (hence, the gloves and the grabber!) Luckily, on this particular day we don’t find much garbage. So when  we meet  Ms. Tejada (Barbara), at King Gillette Ranch (KGR), we just have a few plastic bottles to throw away. KGR is named after the property’s original  owner, the  razor  mogul, King Gillette. Nowadays, designated a public park, KGR is operated and owned by three different agencies – MRCA, NPS and CSP. After putting on riding gear, Barbara demonstrates using the park’s recycling container. The plastic bottles go in the recycling portion of the canister, and the plastic bag in the designated trash side. For Barbara, this task really isn’t self-imposed community service. Barbara is one of the lucky few, who actually have a job in her field of study; she works for California State Parks. Her primary assignment is Malibu Creek State Park and there isn’t a question she can’t answer about the park or nature for that matter. Barbara is acutely aware of how eco systems and habitat are affected by human interaction. She works for a great organization and loves her job. Barbara graduated from UCSB, top of her class, and has not only the intellectual chops for her position, but also the people skills. Barbara is truly an asset...

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Self-Imposed Community Service – “Just Can It”
Jan15

Self-Imposed Community Service – “Just Can It”

Self-Imposed Community Service – “Just Can It” Real cowboy Terry and his partners Chili and Barney are “On the Job” grabbing for discarded cans along the highway near their home. Terry demonstrates using the grabber to gather cans and put in his pannier (cowboy pack bag) that rests on Barney’s saddle. He finds other discards as well: prescription drug bottles, construction masks, plastic and glass bottles, plus lots of paper trash. Although the main goal was to gather cans we grabbed whatever we could to throw away properly. Next month – Self-Imposed Community Service – “For Whom the Trash...

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Self-Imposed Community Service – Butt Patrol
Nov07

Self-Imposed Community Service – Butt Patrol

Tammy and Chester “On the Job”, combing for discarded butts along the highway near where we ride. The discards were lit butts at one time, which were unfortunately thrown from a moving vehicle. Tammy hand walks Chester for this task and carries a plastic bag. She also wears vinyl gloves, because the stench is so horrendous on the butts and doesn’t seem to fade over time. If you have no clue as to how toxic cigarette butts are please check out rethinkbutts.org. We have posted one of their PSAs, which compares a discarded butt to a spewing oil tanker, leaching toxic waste into our environment and water supply. And for those of you who think cigarette butts are biodegradable – wrong. The filter is made of a type of plastic that does not degrade. If you must smoke in areas where smoking is forbidden, think of the “take your trash with you” rule. Stomp out your butt completely and once its’ thoroughly extinguished and cool enough, put it in a small plastic bag and take it with you to be thrown away properly in a waste receptacle. Encourage other people who smoke to do the same and never let someone throw a lit cigarette out whether they hiking, driving or just taking in nature’s view. Next month – Self-Imposed Community Service – Just Can...

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Self-Imposed Community Service – Trash Pick-Up
Oct15

Self-Imposed Community Service – Trash Pick-Up

Linda and Daphne “On the Job”.  We started this choreas a trail exercise for our rescue horse Daphne, desensitizing her to a large, plastic garbage bag, the grabber, and plastic gloves and she was so great at it, that we decided wouldn’t it be nice if we helped out Mother Nature and picked up trash along the trails we use? We take 15 minutes every week to police our trails for trash.  Mostly, we do this on foot and encourage our hiker and bicycle friends to do the same.  No, we don’t get a medal, and no one will recognize us, but that’s okay.  We’re chipping in and doing our part.  BTW, our beautiful Daphne is pretty good at this task because we have put in the time with her on it.  Don’t advise you do this with your horse unless you put in the time peppered with patience.  So, work on foot instead.  Bring plastic bag, plastic or latex gloves and a grabber if you have one. Next month – Self-Imposed Community Service – Butt...

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